My Workhorse Bubblies

Monday, October 22, 2012

Okay, so I was ready to settle down and do some more writing – I am turning my first book into an eBook and writing some things based on it being ten years after releasing it in print form – and in doing so, I heated up some Chinese takeout from last night, put on some nice music, and opened up a bottle of bubbly.


Right now, the artist is Kinny, who will be followed by the new album from the luxurious Deborah Bond.


But the drink is one of my workhorse bubblies; Domaine Ste Michelle Blanc de Blancs.

Now, to me a workhorse bubbly is that sparkling wine which easily fits your budget and you can have a bottle of everyday if you so choose.  Usually it’s not vintage and shouldn’t run more than fifteen dollars a bottle.  Hey, if you can afford more, than bully for you.

I would say that three types of bubbly fall into this, and by this I mean those that aren’t made from grapes such as Syrah, Malbec and Tempranillo, though there is a very nice inexpensive sparkling Shiraz made by Merchant’s Run.  Those three types would fall under Cava, Prosecco and any other sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir using the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle.  Yes, this excludes anything sweet such as Moscato or anything other than the first two styles using the Charmat method.  This effectively throws out Barefoot and probably Yellowtail as well.

Cava can be expensive or inexpensive, hails from Spain and is made from three grapes; Xarel-lo, Macabe and Paradella grapes.  Castelroig is a nice one that I like.

Prosecco, from Italy, is made from the Glera grape; many people have forgotten this and the grape has simply been known as Prosecco.  There are many proseccos, of many different sweetness levels as well as of different qualities.  I like what Monetto is putting out and got to try a number of their wines while at the last VinItaly US event up in New York.  I also like Bosco dei Cirmioli extra dry Prosecco.  It is not bad and comes in at a great price.  Of course, there are a lot of other Prosecco sparkling wines that fall into this price range, but it’s not like I really am into all of them – hey, I love some Anna Spinato Prosecco and you know, in the right state, that would come into this price point.

Now, let’s get to the reason that I started this article, the Domain Ste Michelle.  They make quite a few sparkling wines; Brut, Blanc de Noirs, Blanc de Blancs and Extra Dry.  However, I am hooked on the Blanc de Blancs (Chardonnay) as it has the cleanest taste and the brightest, filled with green apple and maybe even a little peach or nectarine.  I can get it for eleven dollars a bottle at Canal’s Wines and Liquors on Route 38 in Pennsauken, New Jersey; Total Wines up the street in Cherry Hill wants two dollars a bottle more.  Even in Pennsylvania, you can get the other versions for twelve dollars, but the Blanc de Blancs spits in all of their eyes.

Another backup to this is Gruet, out of New Mexico. I discovered them while shopping at Joe Canal’s in Marlton, New Jersey – hey, don’t even ask me about the Canal’s split because all of them are not affiliated.  Gruet makes everything from rose, Blanc de Noirs, Brut, Demi-Sec and an Extra Dry.  They have some other ones that I haven’t tried, but I will tell you that for last New Year’s day celebration, I went through a bottle of each one of these wines and regularly still pick up the Exra Dry and the Blanc de Noirs.

For those of you who don’t know, haven’t asked and haven’t read my past bubbly articles, Blanc de Blancs means white from white [grapes, being Chardonnay] and Blanc de Noirs means white from red grapes, meaning Pinot Nor and/or Pinot Meunier.

Sidenote: I thought that I was buying a new Deborah Bond album, but in fact purchased the same one again.  Someone will be lucky.  I also think that I have this Kinny album, so again, a lucky person.  But I do have on the latest album by Pete Belasco (Lights On) and it is nice.

Now, this all said, these are my workhorse bubblies; even those with meager budgets can easily afford the Domain Ste Michelle, am inexpensive quality Prosecco, or a nice Cava.  I prefer the Ste Michelle, and it’s great mixed with a raspberry or cassis liquer; just don’t throw in too much.

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